Thursday, March 24, 2011

2012 Approaching Quickly for Gubernatorial Candidates


Well, the pool is beautiful. It's all glistening and pretty there in the sunlight, but the water must be cold. No one is jumping in. That's the way the Governor's race looks so far in Indiana as the 2012 election season slowly approaches. I think it's likely to stay that way for a little while longer until things shake out in the Statehouse, as well.

Right now, northside businessman Jim Wallace, a Republican, is the only announced candidate. Wallace announced in early February that he would run, and his resume is quite impressive. Indiana's 6th District Representative, Mike Pence, is the frontrunner on the Republican side even though he has yet to announce a run. Pence closed the door on running for President, so I believe he is 99.9 percent likely to throw his hat in the ring. There are a few other Republican names, but I don't think they can beat Pence. If for some reason Pence doesn't run, look for some of those names to come out of the woodwork to challenge Wallace.

The Democratic side of the ledger has been more difficult to figure out.

Several big names have taken themselves out of the running. Ex-Senator and Governor Evan Bayh decided not to run and has since taken up residence as another Fox News political contributor. Former 8th District Representative Brad Ellsworth pulled out of the race, and said he would not run for any office in 2012. Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel removed his name from the hat citing family concerns.

That leaves several continuing to consider runs. Indiana Senate Minority Leader Vi Simpson of Bloomington is rumored to be interested in the job. Former House Speaker John Gregg has been taking preliminary steps towards a potential campaign for Governor, and there is a movement to draft him to run from grassroots supporters (full disclosure, I signed the online petition). Former Lake County Sheriff Roy Dominguez still has his Indiana Roy campaign site up and was sending out Christmas cards to statewide supporters this past December (I know because I got one). Representative Joe Donnelly of Indiana's 2nd Congressional District also has also been rumored to be interested in a run. Donnelly's district figures to be a potential target for Republicans in the upcoming redistricting fight.

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